When I first started at Blizzard Beach, one of my fellow newcomers, a young man recently graduated from high school, asked our trainer about romantic relationships with our co-workers. While our trainer said that it wasn’t something that would get you in trouble, it was not recommended. If Disney Cast Members did not have the opportunity to date each other, they would be very limited on who they could date. I personally was very lucky with online dating and have found an amazing man. Workplace romance can easily go sour and make working regularly with that individual very unpleasant. If you must date at work, I do not recommend dating someone you interact with regularly at work. Many work places breed gossip and in order to grow your career, try to keep your reputation clean and reduce personality conflicts.
As a leader, relationships, even casual friendships with the individuals that work on your team can lead the other team members to believe you are showing favoritism and they may become disengaged. While I enjoyed chatting with my team members during my previous job as a team lead in the defense industry, I made it a point not to engage with a smaller subset of the team socially. The entire team can be invited to go out for lunches and after work socials, but to avoid generating feelings of bias do not regularly meet up a select few. Relationships are important in business, they help lead to greater collaboration. As a leader, I recommend you practice discipline with your relationships.
Responsible leaders practice discipline to ensure they are not showing favoritism and make an effort to value all team members. When you want to do something well, you get your experts around you. Your team needs to be the experts you can rely on. Show all them that they are valued by inviting them to participate in decisions. Get to know them and show that you value them as a person and a team member. While you may be more comfortable with a subset of your team, by making an effort to reach out to every team member that directly reports to you, ideas and opportunities open up.